Increase in inheritance disputes

Inheritance disputes are never far from the headlines with more people realising that they may (in certain circumstances) be able to bring a claim against an estate.

Society has changed significantly over the years meaning that more people are entering into second marriages or not bothering with marriage at all. The changes to the way we live are having an impact on the number of claims being made.

In recent years, it was not uncommon for a couple who had married for the second time and had children from their first marriage to arrange their affairs so as to ultimately benefit their children. We are noticing more and more of these arrangements being challenged by the wives who claim that they should get more.

It was therefore interesting to read the case currently in the news where the second wife was left the husband’s entire estate to the exclusion of his daughter from his first marriage. Recent high profile cases, appearing to make it easier for adult children to claim an inheritance when they have been excluded from a Will, have cleared the way for an unprecedented number of cases being brought by adult children. This, it would seem, is something the daughter is relying upon.

The case itself is currently being heard in the Courts and, as such, the outcome of this particular matter is unknown. What is certain is that this will not be the last of these such cases grabbing the headlines in the future. Especially as it is clear that no matter who you leave your estate to, there is a chance someone won’t be happy.

Within our Dispute Resolution team we have specialist solicitors who have the expertise needed to advise and assist you if you are faced with an inheritance issue. If you find you need advice about an inheritance dispute or a disagreement over a Will, Trust or Estate, please contact Stephen Wray or Cara Hough.

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